With businesses now reliant on IT infrastructure to run their operations, any failure on this front can be costly, not just in revenue, but to reputation as well. According to ITIC’s 2022 Global Server Hardware Securitysurvey, the hourly cost of downtime now exceeds £251,000 for 91% of SME and large enterprises, with 76% of corporations citing security and data breaches as the top cause of server, operating system, application and network downtime. This is why any successful business continuity plan needs to be closely coordinated with your IT service provider. With their expertise you can create a robust recovery process that will work effectively when you need it the most.
What is a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan (BCP) outlines how a business will continue to operate during an unplanned disruption in service. The most successful BCP will provide a detailed strategy on how business operations can be maintained for both short-term and long-term outages. While a BCP covers all aspects of an organisation’s operations and potential threats, it is most likely to be a business’s IT infrastructure that cause significant disruption, usually from a targeted cyber attack. This is why many companies are consulting with their IT service provider to create a holistic BCP that will keep them up and running, protect their data, safeguard their brand and retain customers.
What are the challenges to an effective business continuity plan?
With the increase in integrated hybrid IT environments, creating a robust and effective business continuity plan has become a real challenge for organisations. While these systems are adaptable, they can create potential vulnerabilities, particularly when critical systems are linked together. If a single link in this chain breaks or comes under attack, the impact can quickly move throughout the business.
Creating your BCP with your IT provider
For this reason, creating your business continuity plan with your IT service provider is key. It will enable you to implement a BCP that responds to your business holistically, considering all business processes, applications and IT infrastructure.
Working closely with your IT provider can give you an advantage through:
- Knowledge – your BCP will be designed through expert knowledge of your IT infrastructure, business assets and potential threats.
- Auditing – your IT provider can run a full audit of your systems in line with your critical business processes.
- Testing – your IT service provider can thoroughly test for weak points in your infrastructure, making suggestions for improvements.
- Recovery – they can create a process for recovery after an outage and outline the best applications for backing up your systems in line with your Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
- Monitoring – your IT service provider can monitor your systems, alerting you to any outages and significant threats.
- Compliance and certification – for many businesses a BCP is a necessary part of their regulatory compliance. An IT service provider will be able to make suggestions for compliant IT processes and infrastructure and implement ISO 27001 certification where required.
- Review – with a continually changing IT landscape your business continuity plan will need to be reviewed regularly alongside your IT systems.
- Cost –the faster and more comprehensive your IT recovery the more expensive BCP provisions become for a business. Working closely with your IT service provider can produce significant cost saving in this regard as applications can be chosen with a business’s RTO in mind and alternative options can be suggested for non-critical services.
Get in touch
If you would like to find out more about how we can support your business continuity planning, please do get in touch, contact Hosts Unlimited today.